Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Novel's Journey: Update on multiple projects

I hope you all enjoyed the book tour stuff.  In the meantime, I had a small break from hard-core writing (insert hysterical laughter here.)  But seriously, I took part in the MuseOnline Conference, did the extreme de-clutter of my house, got a job writing a marketing guide for a publisher, and mapped out a years' worth of writing and marketing classes to teach via  So it was a busy month, but the writing part was small compared to my expressed goal of 2500 words a day.  (Remember that pipe dream from the summer?  Sigh.)  So today, I figured I'd give you an update on all the writing projects in the fire.  If there's a lesson in this today, it's that writing is never just a straight line of one project, then the next, nor is it all about writing.

Live and Let Fly:  This much-awaited Vern novel is finally coming out--April 2012!  This week, I did the first-run of edits.  Looks like my editor and I will be having some deep discussions on what is considered fair use of cultural icons and well-known brands.  I've pulled out my copy of The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook, which isn't quite as helpful as I'd hoped, sadly.  Any other suggestions on information on this would be appreciated.  The goal, of course, isn't to battle with my publisher, whom I dearly love, but to make sure we're all safe from the lawsuit happy and yet aren't going the route of overzealousness.  (About 20 percent of the jokes will die if I have to make all the changes.  Vern is not pleased.)

Live and Let Fly Promotion:  In order to prep for the launch of Live and Let Fly, I've done a few things.  All the DragonEye, PI stories I've written and not yet published have again been sent to magazines.  One came out this month in Residential Aliens.  I'm also revising the DragonEye, PI website.  The original one was done by my good friend, Ann Lewis, but it's just more complex than I feel I need, and I don't want to go through the hassle of finding and buying a new PHP template to make it more readable, so I just went to Blogger.  You can see the strawman here:  Please let me know what you think, what you want to see--and go ahead and follow it, please!  The next DragonEye, PI newsletter is out.  Get it here:  Finally, I'm preparing my serial story, Christmas Spirits, which debuts November 19 at

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator:  I Left My Brains in San Francisco:  This one has been on hold because I need some technical information about oil refineries and would like to actually visit one to make my scenes more realistic.  However, my brother-in-law just moved to a new job, so they are busy house-hunting and getting into the new routine, and the refinery in Salt Lake has not called me back.  I may have to try astral projection!  Anyway, since it has no deadline, it's been languishing while that information avoids me, but once I get it, I will finish it in a couple of weeks, I'm sure.

Discovery and Mind Over Psyche:  Both are still under consideration by their respective publishers.  I try not to check the e-mail 20 times a day hoping to see some word.

The Old Man in the Void:   I have 14,500 words done.  I had a real slowdown as I worked out what it would look, feel and sound like inside the accretion disk of a black hole and inside the hole itself.  It was both exciting and frustrating to have something figured out, then run across a new study that either added significantly to what I had imagined (resulting in tweaks galore) or refuted my theories (which meant rewrite.)  A lot of black hole studies came out this month, or maybe I was just more aware of them.  Of course, my characters are taking liberties with the carefully plotted story, and you know me: I let them, and the story just gets more awesome when they tell it.  Tell you more about that next week, promise.

Marketing and Writing Classes:  Here's my proposed 2012 class schedule to Savvy Authors.  I got a preliminary OK from them, but nothing official yet:

Jan 2-27:  Worldbuilding 101
Feb  1-29: Worldbuilding 201March 19-30  Editing Not for Wimps
April 2-27: Marketing Basics 
May 1-14:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
May 7-25:  Help!  Clutter Has Buried My Writers’ Block!   (I'm thinking of doing this one as a boot camp)
July 9-27: Video Book Trailers 
August 1-21:  Virtual Book Tours 
September 3-21: Torture Your Characters for Fun and Plot-Fit 
October 15-31:  Zombies and Monsters and Pixies—All Mine! 
November 1-21: Developing Character Voice 

Also, for Damnation Books/Eternal Press authors only, I will be teaching quarterly forum classes and hold a monthly chat on marketing.

I'm writing a marketing guide for DB/EP, and am revamping 30-Minute Marketer, which I will offer in serial  to anyone on my website,

Dean Wesley Smith like to compare writing to running a bakery--you have all kinds of products in a bakery, and if you want to succeed, you keep something in the oven while selling the ready stuff.  Here's a little peak into my bakery.  What's yours like?

No comments: